Catholic bishops investigate the Girl Scouts

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, May 11, 2012 17:02 EDT
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Girl Scouts (from rear, left to right) Giovanna LaTour, 16, Kenzie Heard, 16, Alexandra Moreno, 14, and (from front, left to right) Ashtyn Warner, 16, Amanda Martin, 16, Danni Mussatt, 13, and Leann Mussatt, 13, pose with a truckload of cookies they delivered to Fort McPherson. The girls helped collect more than 10,000 boxes of cookies to be sent to Soldiers overseas. Photo: The U.S. Army, via Flickr Creative Commons.
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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has opened an official inquiry into the Girl Scouts to determine if troops may continue meeting at local community churches, according to a report published Friday.

The bishops are investigating the scouts to determine whether they promote contraception and abortion, The Associated Press claimed.

A letter sent by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who chairs the committee leading the investigation, reportedly noted some “problematic relationships” with other groups like Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam.

Some conservatives have of late taken to attacking the Girl Scouts for ‘sexualizing’ young women and promoting a liberal reproductive health agenda. Even though Fox News jumped on that bandwagon, the line of attack has not been a popular one.

The scouts say that’s not true, however.

“[Our] policy is not to take a stand on or advocate for or against any issue regarding a girl’s health and sexuality, especially outside the confines of Girl Scout programs,” a document on the Girl Scout’s website (PDF) explains. “We also believe that parents have the primary responsibility for the safety and well-being of their girls within the context of Girl Scout programs.

“These policies enable the Girl Scout program to fully respect and yet remain responsive to the varying beliefs of individual girls and their families. Importantly, when a council or troop offers programs that address many of these issues, they are offered with the fully informed consent of the parents or guardians of the girls who choose to participate.”


Photo: Girl Scouts send “more than 10,000 boxes of cookies” to the troops, via The U.S. Army on Flickr Creative Commons.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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